Agricultural Summary: Dry weather last week allowed water levels to subside in rivers and the warm, windy conditions helped the ground firm up, though it remains wet in areas. Primary activities included finishing 2009 corn harvest and preparing for the upcoming planting season. With nice spring weather, farmers have also been able to apply fertilizer, disk corn stalks, and level fields chisel plowed last fall. Even with last week's warmer than average temperatures, the soil in some areas still needs more dry days before wide-spread planting can begin.
There were 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 20 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Overall, soil moisture conditions are rated mostly adequate.
Field Crops Report: Some farmers have begun planting corn while others are still trying to complete harvest of the 2009 corn crop. Oat acreage planted was 28 percent complete, well ahead of last year's 7 percent and the five-year average of 13 percent.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 2 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. The warmer weather and wind have allowed pastures to dry out and green up. Farmers have also taken advantage of the warm spring weather to repair fences damaged by the snow and wind of the past winter. Calving is well underway.